Endurance training takes a lot of time, especially if you are not one of the Speedy McSpeedersons. Half marathons, marathons, any of the longer triathlons… They all take a lot of time and energy. That’s why today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is “time management while race training.” Share your tips and experiences with Patty, April, and me. And if you have nothing to say no this topic, feel free to link up any running related topic. Also, please welcome Janell from Run With No Regrets, our guest host this week!
We all know I’m kind of crazy. I have this thing for not just one endurance event, but multiple in a row. Some of that is because I’ve found that my superpower is recovery, some of it is because I like challenges. Just for the record, choosing to do two FULL marathons in two days after not having run a marathon in 5 years? Yeah, that pretty much takes the cake for crazy. Also? It takes a heck of a lot of time! So, here’s how I manage to get through marathon training and stay sane. Ok, stay the same level of crazy I was before I started.
- Your calendar is your friend. Plot your training plan and find the landmines. I can guarantee you that you’ll find weeks where your training and life are just not compatible. Figure out which weeks you can move around without compromising your plan. I like to plan an 18 week training plan over a 20 week period. This allows me a little flex when life explodes.
- Plan each week only a week or two in advance. With one kid playing in two soccer leagues, the other playing in a school orchestra and a youth orchestra, a husband who is training for a multi-day bike ride, and oh, that job thing, life around here is pretty crazy. Each week, I check my non-negotiable work meetings and client meetings and then work with Beer Geek to figure out who is chauffeuring kids to what and when are workouts happening. I do have the bonus of not working full time plus having a super flexible boss. (Seriously, I told him not to expect much of me this Friday as I’ll be running 20 miles and then I’m stupid afterwards. Can you say that to your boss? LOL)
- Use shorter run and cross training days to your advantage. Cook, clean, file your taxes, whatever. Just do what you need to do to make the long run days easier.
- Run “what you can when you can”. (Hat tip to Carla Birnberg) Run during lunch hours, run during your kid’s sports practice, get up early, stay up late, etc. Split up a long run if there is no other way to get it in.
- It takes a village. Take any offers for help that you get. Enlist the aid of your children/spouse/a maid service/whatever to get things done. Learn to use that crockpot at the back of the cupboard.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Maybe your house won’t be as clean as you’d like. Maybe you’ll eat simpler meals for a few months. Maybe your social life will suffer for a while (if you run with friends it might actually be better…)
- Accept that your training won’t go perfectly and some weeks you might come up short. Don’t beat yourself up. A few missed runs over the course of a multi-month training plan are not going to kill your training. Just don’t miss too many or you’ll be undertrained. (Been there, done that.) Or try to cram a missed run into an already packed schedule or your might end up injured. (Been there, done that too.)
- Remember that this is supposed to be fun and you chose to do it. Enjoy the training process. You’ll spend a lot more time in training than you will racing, so you’ll want to find the joy in the day to day runs.
What tips do you have that I haven’t covered? I’m always looking at ways to help keep all the balls in the air!
[A version of this post first appeared as a guest post at You Signed Up For What??]